Gabriele Colangelo often turns to artists for inspiration for his collections. For spring, he looked to the abstract works of the late American painter and sculptor Barnett Newman. “I specially focused on the way he introduced organic elements in monochromatic backgrounds,” said the designer backstage before the show, which was held at the prestigious Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense. Brush-stroke patterns gave an arty feel to a range of minimal designs, including an asymmetric silk dress and a spaghetti-strap top. Both had draping and pleating — signature elements of the collection — that evoked the curved lines of Newman’s works. These injected movement in almost all the tunic dresses, shirts and asymmetric fluid skirts, some of which were embellished with metal and semi-precious stones. The artisanal quality of the collection, which was infused with an effortless elegance for a strong, independent femininity, was on show in particular with a sleeveless dress crafted by stitching stripes of soft napa leather together for a 3-D plissé effect.